Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Remember When Kids Just Beat On Other Kids?

I was just checking out an article via MSN recently and the headline read:

"ADHD: Kids With It May Be More Likely to Bully Others"

Alright, I think I can understand and see that. I can remember vividly living in the outskirts of Chicago in the late 1970's, venturing to school. I was a "walker" back then, close enough to school to walk, alone most of the time, providing for what is my creative side. Lots of ideas and thinking time way back then.

Enter Jeff Wagonnconneckt (Wagon-Connect).

Looking back at Jeff's behavior back then, I have to tell you - I think this kid was just an asshole, and he just wanted to beat on other kids. I don't know if "Mommy didn't love him enough," if his Daddy was playing "pull my magic finger" with him or what - it didn't matter to me then and doesn't now.

What I do know is that I sustained 2 school seasons of walking-by beatings, thanks to one Jeff Wagonnconneckt, the errant 6th grader because he got his jollies and giggles from it. It wasn't anything to do with ADHD, it was that he liked pounding on kids that would allow themselves to be pounded on.

This continued on until the day I was walking home with Sweet Virginney - I know not where she is now, but man - she was my first true crush, the likes of which Forrest Gump has never imagined. While she and I were walking home from Twinbrook, along with my friend Rickey Horagis and Wendee Collins, I heard the soon-to-arrive Vvvv-Vvvvv-Vvvvv-Vvvvv of snake skin BMX bike tires owned by Wagonnconneckt and instantly prepared to snap into cower-mode with my pedestrian friends.

But something in the air that early 1978 afternoon made me understand something that I've become universally aware of as an adult -- There is a time to make a break for it, sure. There is also a time to stand, and this was it. To defend my young honor in front of not only the kid that I shared every single STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE WITH, but also to brave the cruel potential of being a dork-feeb-weakling in front of the only girl that had my seven-year-old heart in her clutches.

Rather than run, I made my stand - and got my ass beat on once again.

Thankfully, my friends didn't think any less of me. They, even at their young age, understood that Jeff Wagonnconneckt was just a bike riding dick, and the world didn't come to an end. Virginney? She and her parents moved away that fall to Texas, so no whirlwind romance there. I moved to a different area that same fall and never saw or spoke to Virginney or Ricky, or Wendee again, so my 7 year-old lack of fighting skills was hidden from most.

The final conclusion here folks, is that the kid was just an asshole, beating on a kid that took it.

Justice is truly a cruel and ironic companion however. When meeting up with another friend from that age many years later, Benjamin Huu, he told me that he learned that Jeff Wagonnconneckt was -- (insert drumroll.wav) run over by a car that fall -- while riding his bike on one of the main nearby arteries that surrounded our subdivision.

While it's never 'justice' truly, when a kid gets mowed down by a car, -- well, yes it is. :) If I I've learned anything from not only my parents, friends and my own experiences, it's that you always do get what you give.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What were Virginney's parents smoking when they named her? That is a real name, isn't it?

5:31 PM  

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